Types of Vascular Disease
Vascular disease represents any disease that affects the circulatory system, which is composed of capillaries, veins and arteries that carry blood throughout the body. The lymphatic system, which carries lymph fluid through the body and is a critical part of the immune system, is also part of the circulatory system. Because these structures play a vital role in a person’s health, conditions that impair their functioning can result in serious medical complications, many of which may be fatal. However, with many types of vascular disease, healthy lifestyle choices and treatments may reduce the likelihood of such complications.
At Tampa General Hospital’s Vascular Center of Excellence, we take a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating all types of vascular disease. Our collaboration with the University of South Florida has allowed us to cultivate a highly specialized team of board-certified vascular surgeons who are experienced in both open vascular surgery and endovascular surgery. In addition, our team includes other heart and vascular specialists, including cardiologists, interventional radiologists and other medical professionals who ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients.
Conditions We Treat
Because the circulatory system is a large, complex network that must function at near-perfect levels to maintain optimal health, it is vulnerable to a wide range of diseases. Common types of vascular disease that we treat include:
- Aneurysm – This occurs when there is a bulge in a weakened area of a blood vessel. If and when an aneurysm bursts, it causes internal bleeding, which is a serious, life-threatening condition.
- Aortic diseases – The aorta, the largest artery in the body, is susceptible to a variety of conditions, and Tampa General Hospital specializes in diagnosing and treating them. Our Aorta Program is world-class, featuring a team highly experienced in treating:
- Peripheral artery disease – This condition develops as a result of plaque (fat and cholesterol deposits) building up in the arteries. Over time, this may obstruct the flow of blood through the artery.
- Deep vein thrombosis – When a clot forms in a vein, usually in the deep veins of the leg, it can obstruct blood flow and may break free, traveling through the circulatory system to the body’s organs and causing life-threatening conditions, such as a pulmonary embolism.
- Thoracic outlet syndrome – Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) occurs when the blood vessels and/or nerves are compressed by muscles or bone in the space between the lower neck and the upper chest.
- Vena cava syndrome - Both the superior and inferior portions of the vena cava—the large vein that returns blood to the heart from upper and lower body, respectively—can become obstructed or compressed and inhibit blood flow back to the heart.
Our Approach to Vascular Disease Treatment
At Tampa General Hospital, we utilize the most advanced technologies in diagnosing our patients, and we develop vascular disease treatment strategies and perform procedures tailored to the unique conditions of each patient.
For example, TGH is one of seven hospitals in the U.S. with access to technology that allows us to perform fenestrated endovascular aortic aneurysm repair (FEVAR). Used to treat complex thoracoabdominal aneurysms (those that affect both the thoracic and abdominal regions of the body), FEVAR is a minimally invasive procedure involving placement of Cook Zenith® Fenestrated (Zfen) stent grafts with fenestrations, or holes, that allow for blood flow from the aorta to the branching blood vessels. This procedure is an alternative to major open abdominal surgery, reduces the risks and complications of traditional surgery and shortens hospital stays and recovery time for patients.